History of the Trust

Est. 1961

As Chelmsford entered the 1960s, it was still a country town with working dairies, farms, and orchards. Yet an unprecedented level of population growth and development was under way. In 1961 alone, nearly 500 new homes were built and 28 new streets were established. Route 3 and 495 were nearing completion. The rural and agricultural character of the town was changing rapidly and irrevocably.

That same year, nine dedicated Chelmsford residents had the foresight and initiative to act on behalf of Chelmsford’s rural heritage. They established the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust and became custodians of the first Trust property when Harriett Bartlett generously donated a portion of her family’s pasture, now known as Bartlett Park.

Subsequently, the Trust received nine additional pieces of property. The most recent is the Kroll-Calder-Larter Pasture, donated in 1992. These lands, totaling about 80 acres, are preserved as remnants of Chelmsford’s rural and agricultural past.

The Trust is a private, non-profit corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is financed solely by membership dues and gifts. The eleven directors are elected by the members of the Trust.

The Trust is empowered to acquire property as gifts or through purchase for the benefit of all inhabitants of the town. Since these lands are private property, they are free from the shifting priorities of state and local politics.

The Trust welcomes your interest and membership.